Clouds In The Head

Small Chance Of Heaven?
8 January, 2015, 3:38 pm
Filed under: Nobody Loves A Thinker

This morning, on our holiday on the beaches east of Taree, I decided to stroll away from my family for a minute. I found myself savouring the sensation of treading on the crunchy salt-encrusted sand above the waterline, stepping carefully between the large Manning River pebbles that “litter” the beaches round here. I moved to different sorts of sand and hurried back to the crunchy stuff, realising that all my life I’ve loved that particular quality of sand.

I’ve been going through one of my “I am mortal” phases and the thought struck me that one day I will never again experience the crunchy sand. When I was a child and a good Catholic lad, I was expecting that after death heaven would include all the wondrous stuff that I loved during my life. There’d be reunions, perfections, the ability to do the stuff that I was afraid of, etc etc.

I wondered this morning if perhaps it was time to revisit the religion thing. Any suggestions? I need a religion that will give me eternal life including the walking on crunchy sand. I’d like to see my folks again, and quite a few other people (my year 11-12 English teacher, for example). And perhaps a few decades down the track to hug my sons again.

Mormonism is vaguely interesting. At the End Of Days, the elect rise up after everyone else has gone off, to hell I guess, or compost, and walk the earth again: all of them and the earth too in their best shape. Also they have fantastic Magic Underpants.

Buddhism maybe, but it seems a pretty smoky religion, if religion at all, and more suited to life on earth now than to the everlasting kind. I won’t go back to Catholicism, and Islam is a little extreme for me at the moment and not feminist enough.

If I can’t find a good religion, preferably one that doesn’t include a God, I’ll go to plan B. This is where, on my deathbed, I imagine that after death I’m going to see eg the folks, the wife, eventually the kids again. Instead of succumbing to the pain I will look forward to the time a few days or hours hence when I’ll be stepping between pebbles in my bare feet on salty crunchy sand on a balmy summer’s day, the holy roar of waves just down the sand, and maybe there’ll be oysters and mum’s self-saucing chocolate pudding. Later I’ll go see Tom Waits or Betty Carter or even get up on stage myself. It’ll be heaven.


We re-live our initiation rituals
9 May, 2014, 8:02 pm
Filed under: Nobody Loves A Thinker

I was trying to watch the beginning of the horror film Scream last night. It didn’t help that we live in a house in the middle of nowhere with large panes of glass (sliding doors mostly) facing empty bush and field. I got quickly scared. I knew what was coming. I turned off.

And then I got to thinking why this clearly cleverly contrived script would appeal, even why it would be made.

I’m not sure what the leap of logic was but this was my ponderment: perhaps we relive our initiation rituals or experiences, perhaps we seek for their re-creation in our recreation and our creations and our ceremonial re-cremations. Perhaps all those kids who did the horror thing in their teens (I was too scared to) are then searching for the occasions and proofs of their manhood/womanhood/naughty risk-taking away from parents. Perhaps that’s why indigenous societies have such formalised initiations for their early teens, because the big, frightening, age-busting, ceiling-shattering journeys punched into their early teens then provide a deep structure for later behaviour. Lacan would probably think it was way too late but he was somewhat French.

There’s something halcyon about those teen buzzes. Our friends are never closer, our future never brighter, our despair never more cutting. We dream and daydream and jump off (metaphorical and real) cliffs. Nobel prize-winners tend to have had significant mentors when they’re about 14 years old.

The script I’ve been working on for many years, Rainbird, is kind of about this moment, but from the side of a potential mentor. There’s this young fellow. Someone at the cliff edge of adolescence. Will they jump, pull back, or discover there’s a rope attached and they can abseil down?

I guess what I’ve constructed in Rainbird is an initiation ritual for the kid in question, and hope in its gizzards, instead of violence and suicide.

Perhaps he needs to be cut. I should cut him, in my script. My hero, a grieving woman age 40, should be the one to cut him.

I won’t burrow deeper for now. I’m too busy thinking.

Worst & best things about man flu (very short post)
2 August, 2013, 9:59 am
Filed under: Nobody Loves A Thinker | Tags: ,

Best thing about man flu: it now gives us a new one to chuck at the missus. She: I just feel terrible. He: You do look really dreadful; I reckon it’s gotta be man flu.
Worst thing: In my humble anecdotal experience, as a reaction to the “man flu” jibe, blokes are starting to underplay their colds and flus. Why is that a problem? Men, the half of the species that pretends they’re not sick even when they are, to the point where they drop dead of something eminently curable because they refused to go to the doctor and hoped it would go away, now have another reason to “downplay” their illnesses. Good one, girls.

Yoga or …
31 January, 2013, 9:45 pm
Filed under: beauty & inspirationalitism, Nobody Loves A Thinker

This quote at the conclusion for Donna Farhi’s book, Bringing Yoga To Life. “Does Yoga practice change who we are? … We feel, taste, and touch the same things but through an intensified register.”

Isn’t this aka Poetics?

Surely Poetics is exactly what it is.

Isn’t this the vocab and life experience that gives us an image repertoire for understanding our living more intensely? Better, “intently” because it’s about paying attention, removing ourselves, instead asserting our capacity as poet, possibly of the Brechtian kind, and applying it to how we live, move, communicate, interrelate, wish, react.

What I love about Yoga (capital is Farhi’s usage) is that it includes within its Poetics a physicality of body knowledge.

And it has about it the idea of “Becoming Clear”, which is also the attitude of the reformed junkie, of the politician at epiphany with less than one term to go, of the woman leaving an abusive relationship. To remove ourselves from what is abusive is a game of ego in a line of flight that goes up but does not know where the parabola ends.

Which is Yoga and Poetics, inter-evolved.

It’s all ballistic in the end, nest-ce pas?

The joke that didn’t make it to the show at the IF Awards
29 November, 2011, 4:14 pm
Filed under: Nobody Loves A Thinker

This is the joke that got cut on the day of the IF Awards ceremony.

EDDIE PERFECT walks on stage. Points at: PRESENTER (famous young Australian actor) who just presented an award and is leaving the stage. BECKONS him over.

Suddenly EDDIE slaps him.


What’d you do that for?


Shit I’m sorry, I thought you were Dimitriades.


[taking that as a compliment] Oh, thank you.


Go backstage and slap somebody. Serious. It’s the new planking.

This is about the importance of “building character” in education. Provocative and excellent.
19 September, 2011, 11:36 am
Filed under: Nobody Loves A Thinker

 What if the secret to success is failure?

Why our kids’ success – and happiness – may depend less on perfect  performance than on learning how to deal with failure.

From The New York Times.

Cliches on film!
30 August, 2011, 11:23 am
Filed under: Nobody Loves A Thinker

Wonderful resource or waste of internet time?

Plus this Ted Hope quote:

“After insipid subject matter, complete avoidance of emotional truth, ignorance of film history and the effects of representation, I think the redundant and derivative film language of most films is what truly gets my goat.”